Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Severe Policies

Earlier this month, Management instituted a policy that Severity 1 tickets (issues of the highest importance) were no longer to be opened. Analysts were to open lower severity tickets and then notify the Function Desk. Why? Because too many analysts were opening high severity tickets incorrectly. So, instead of TRAINING people to do it right, they create a more convoluted procedure that is even MORE likely to be done incorrectly.

And so, today I had to pick up the pieces. A user called to report that all the phones for an entire building were down. A ticket was opened that should have been a Severity 1 issue. It was opened at the lower severity, as directed, but a bunch of other things were screwed up.

Fifteen minutes later, a Senior Vice President calls and asks me what's going on.


The ticket had not been assigned. It had not been updated. The severity had not been raised. Nothing. This is an entire building down. People with deadline. People have to communicate with the Federal Trade Commission. People who need to move money. So, I updated the ticket and went up to the Function Desk to find out what was going on. The excuse was that they couldn't get into the ticket because I had been in it.

"Not for the past 15 minutes!"

In the end it took a full half an hour for the ticket to be assigned.

When the Site Manager came back on the floor, I took a few minutes to rant at him. "I know why you took away Sev 1 tickets. It's because people were screwing it up. But you don't solve that problem with another procedure they're going to screw up, you do it by training people how to do it right. Now, I know you don't want me as a trainer anymore but you have to find someone to do this shit."

He had a look on his face like he was surprised to find out that I wasn't wanted as a trainer. Apparently, the Service Delivery Manager hadn't passed on the contents of our last conversation.

"In any case, there is no reason for it to take half an hour for a ticket like this to be assigned. This procedure has failed on EVERY level and I'm getting sick of cleaning up this sort of crap because of sucky training. If you find someone who can do training better than me, fine. Do it. But get someone training people how to do this right or we're going to get burned."

Apparently, I ruffled some feathers because latter the Problem Manager, the guy who covers the Function Desk, came over to tell me I didn't know what was going on behind the scenes. That they were on the phone trying to contact people while I was in the ticket.

"I didn't know what was going on because there wasn't anything in the ticket. That's what the ticket is for. To keep track of what's going on so that when Executive Staff calls asking what the hell is going on we don't have to say, 'Nothing' or 'I don't know.'"

He tried grilling me about the specifics of why it was a Severity 1 issue and when I said "communicating with the Federal Trade Commission isn't enough?" he chided me for not stating that in the ticket.

"I didn't open the ticket. Someone else screwed that up and I'm just trying to clean up the mess while Executive Staff is asking why nothing's been done with her issue."

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